High objectives and real-world obstacles.

Over the years, expectations for L lenses have grown even more exacting. To achieve the high image quality offered by EOS cameras, Canon developers needed to engineer optical designs that push the limits of image resolution and contrast. Canon continues to seek solutions that meet the needs of the modern era, not only with new technology and products, but also with manufacturing processes and systems that can deliver such products to a commercial market. In this section, we take a look at some of Canon’s R&D and production facilities.

Improving Resolution and Contrast

As the number of pixels in standard digital camera sensors has skyrocketed, users expect the optical performance of lenses to improve accordingly. To meet these expectations, Canon has set a very high bar for the optical performance of RF lenses. L-series lenses are designed to achieve higher resolution and contrast than ever before, offering users superior image quality even when viewing images at high magnifications. In designing and evaluating L-series lens performance, particular attention has been given to the resolution and contrast of wavelengths in the high-frequency range. This helps to maintain high image quality even after photo enlargement.

Exotic Jewelery

In Pursuit of More Optimal Solutions

Canon designs its lenses on the basis of advanced optical theory and proprietary optical design tools (software). As the power of the computers used in lens design increases, the time required to design and optimize new lenses — calculating lens configurations to minimize aberrations — can be significantly reduced. Canon never compromises when it comes to the search for optimal solutions. We have even developed our own optical evaluation tools such as the latest image simulation and tolerance analysis simulation, to further enhance optical performance.

RF Lenses Grouped Together

The Uncompromising Pursuit of Reliability

Quality, precision, rigidity, shock resistance, vibration resistance, environmental resistance, and operational endurance performance — RF lenses must meet many exacting standards for reliability before Canon releases them to customers. This testing process is indispensable in order to achieve a high level of overall reliability for each individual lens. That is why Canon lenses are built from the earliest design stage to provide reliable performance in the conditions under which they will actually be used. After passing a range of rigorous tests during the prototype stage, the lens eventually moves into mass production. Canon has established its own quality control standards for commercial lens products, known as the Canon Standard (CS). L lenses are subjected to even stricter standards in the areas of production control, optical design and mechanism design. Tolerances in the spacing, tilt, eccentricity and other specifications of the lens are exact to within 1/100th of a millimeter. Precision adjustments are applied to each lens, as necessary, to ensure the high performance of the product. The reliability of L lenses is directly linked to decades of uncompromising effort to optimize performance and reliability.

Close Up to an RF Lens

Evolution of Manufacturing Technology

Advanced lens processing technology, optical elements, and coating technology all played essential roles in the development of L-series lenses, particularly in terms of improving optical performance. To achieve the high image quality customers expect from L lenses, Canon has developed and actively introduced high-precision ground aspherical lenses and fluorite lenses, production technologies including Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC), and unique products such as Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lenses and Super UD lenses.

RF Lens X-Ray View

Ultra-Precision Machining and Assembly by Highly Skilled Craftspeople

The production of L-series lenses with ultra-high-quality image and high-performance requires extremely high processing and assembly precision. To meet such standards, one needs not only the most advanced production facilities and measuring instruments, but also highly skilled workers. Canon employees with finely honed skills are responsible for the most delicate aspects of L lens production, such as processing glass elements to a submicron level of perfection and assembling lens elements with high precision, and grinding the standard (prototype) lenses used to manufacture ground aspherical lenses. Canon optimizes productivity and quality by effectively assigning each work process for each lens type to either automation or skilled workers. We have even begun researching ways to design production facilities that better reflect the knowledge and advanced engineering methods of our highly skilled workers. In this way, Canon has revolutionized the lens production process.

Person Working on an RF Lens

Developer Interview

RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM Product Planner Interview

RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM Optical Designer Interview

RF70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Developer Interview

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